St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Laurence Bowers had 23 points, 10 rebounds
and four assists, and the 12th-ranked Missouri Tigers posted an 82-73 victory
over the previously-unbeaten No. 10 Illinois Fighting Illini in the annual
Braggin' Rights game.
Jabari Brown added 18 points and Alex Oriakhi scored 13 to go with 14 boards
for the Tigers (10-1), who have won four straight in the series.
Phil Pressey ended with 12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds against the
Fighting Illini but converted just 3-of-19 field goals.
Brandon Paul made 11 free throws on his way to 23 points for Illinois (12-1),
which got 14 points from Tyler Griffey.
Bowers hit a jumper to put Missouri up 48-39 a little more than three minutes
into the second half. Illinois fought back and moved ahead 51-50 on a Tracy
Abrams layup with 12:17 left.
Joseph Bertrand made three straight baskets and two free throws to extend
Illinois' lead to a game-high five points at 62-57 with 8:05 remaining.
Missouri responded with a 13-2 run and led 70-64 when Pressey got a floater in
the lane to drop with 4:11 to play. Pressey had missed his first 15 shots.
Griffey drained a 3-pointer to pull the Fighting Illini within 72-70, but the
Tigers scored seven straight points to seal the win.
After Brown made 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, Bertrand missed a game-tying 3-
pointer. Pressey then fed Bowers for a dunk with 59 seconds left. On the next
Illinois possession, Griffey failed to connect from beyond the arc.
Pressey hit a layup and Brown made two free throws after Paul's 3-point try
was off the mark.
The teams went back-and-forth for a large portion of the first half, with Paul
sinking a trio of free throws to put Illinois up 31-29 with 4:29 remaining.
But Missouri went on a 12-2 run before the Fighting Illini closed out the
frame with a fastbreak bucket, trimming their deficit to 41-35.
The Tigers have won 25 consecutive games in December ... Missouri held a 58-35
rebounding edge ... Illinois was 8-of-32 from 3-point range ... Both schools
were ranked for the third straight year ... Nnanna Egwu had 12 points and nine
rebounds for Illinois.